During his four years of thesis research, Amitav fell in love with a fellow research-mate, Sarah Burns. After earning his degree and securing an academic position, he proposed to her and she said “Yes”, with the condition that Amitav would go back to his shorter surname. Sarah was worried that their future children, with that hard-to-pronounce surname, would be mercilessly bullied in schools and playgrounds.
After getting married, Amitav would initiate the process going through the American legal system. Paying a fee of $5,000, he retained a lawyer who checked out his unblemished credit and criminal backgrounds and presented his case to the local judge. However, in the same jurisdiction, there was another Sarah Burns who was undergoing a contentious divorce proceeding in the same court. So, the judge demanded to see all those legal papers. Sensing his lawyer did a poor job presenting his case, Amitav was able to convince the judge that no such divorce with his current wife (a different Sarah Burns) was involved. Fortunately, after admonishing the lawyer, the judge signed Amitav’s application, making him a “Banerjee” again. Next, he applied for the American citizenship that was granted along with a new US passport.
Unbeknownst to Amitav, his US citizenship would cost him his Indian citizenship, since India didn’t allow dual citizenship. So, for his next trip to motherland, he needed to apply for a foreign tourist visa. But his application was denied. Bureaucrats in the embassy advised him he would need to undergo the similar legal process in Indian legal system too, since he was legally an Indian citizen when he changed his surname in The US legal system. Fortunately, Amitav’s own father (a “Banerjee” throughout his life) practiced law in the Calcutta High Court. On behalf of his son, he filed his surname-change application there.
Meanwhile, Sarah and Amitav became the proud parents of two adorable children: Nina Banerjee, a girl and Ravi Banerjee, a boy. They befriended a lot of other kids in the local playground. Sarah has no doubt that their kids will be well accepted in their school and college days.